Press Release 04/2019
German Ethics Council hands over Annual Report 2018 to the President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, and presents recent work results
Yesterday (Thursday), the German Ethics Council held its ninth Parliamentary Evening in Berlin. At the beginning of this event, the Chair of the Council, Peter Dabrock, handed over the Annual Report 2018 to the President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble.
More than 20 Members of the German Bundestag followed the invitation of the Ethics Council, including Ernst Dieter Rossmann, Chair of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment.
In his welcoming adress, Dabrock acknowledged the great interest shown by Members of Parliament in the Parliamentary Evening. According to Dabrock, this shows that the topics that have recently occupied and are still occupying the Ethics Council are "important and urgent and that there is a need for discussion on the perspectives that the Ethics Council offered on all kinds of questions over the last year". Ethics is sensitivity to ambivalence and management of dissent in the search for responsible action, Dabrock stated. In this respect, there are similarities and differences between ethics and politics, which should be discussed with regard to germline intervention, "benevolent" coercion and increasing the rate of vaccination.
Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the Bundestag, thanked the Ethics Council in his opening address for its contributions to the political and public debate. He expressly encouraged the Ethics Council to also publish Opinions that would cause criticism. For "democracy thrives on disagreement and freedom thrives on openness". In this respect, he was looking forward to a lively discussion.
The main topics of the evening were the presentation of the latest Opinions of the Ethics Council "Intervening in the human germline" and "Benevolent Coercion – Tensions between Welfare and Autonomy in Professional Caring Relationships " as well as the ad hoc recommendation "Challenges in dealing with rare diseases". The status of consultations on the topic of "Vaccination as a duty?” has also been discussed.
Finally, Peter Dabrock renewed his invitation to the annual meeting of the Council on the subject of Care - Robots - Ethics on 26 June this year in Berlin.
The Opinions of the Ethics Council "Intervening in the human germline" and "Benevolent Coercion" as well as the ad hoc recommendation "Challenges in dealing with rare diseases" are available at www.ethikrat.org.